Heart Rate Monitor Bra – Hallelujah!!!

I’m a fitness numbers geek, so when Numetrex sent me their new adidas miCoach Seamless Sports Bra and heart rate monitor I was beyond excited to try it out! Seriously, I opened up the package and put the sports bra on the minute I got it in the mail…

My first reaction was – “Wow this bra is actually cute!”

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I got “electric blue,” which I LOVE (newly obsessed with Cobalt Blue this season) and they also come in other fun colors like red and berry blast!

Looking at the front view you may be wondering, how does the HR function work?? Well it’s pretty simple and completely ELIMINATES the need for those annoying/uncomfortable heart rate monitor straps!!! I feel like I sound like an infomercial now, but seriously, anyone who regularly wears a heart rate monitor knows what I’m talking about. If you don’t, try a harsh ribbon around your ribcage and go for a run…Ok back to how it works: you click in the HR Monitor sensor right underneath the front of the bra (same area the monitor goes on your chest normally). The picture below shows a shot of the place where the monitor clips in underneath the bra…

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The Adidas/Numetrex bra syncs with most HR monitors including Garmin, Polar and Adidas. I can’t speak to the others, but anything that will clip into the bra is supposed to work. The clips are the same that are on a standard HR monitor strap.

I took the time to extensively test this sports bra before writing this review – I wore the bra in multiple strength training/HIT classes, spinning and running in order to test comfort and how well the HR monitor function works during different activities. I also tested it using multiple HR monitor sensors: Garmin, Polar and Adidas. After about a month of use, here are my thoughts:

On Fit: First reaction was, this is snug! The bra only comes in 3 sizes (S/M/L), which can sometimes make picking the right size a little difficult. I have fake boobs, so my proportions are slightly off from the “normal,” so in fairness, I never expect sports bras to fit perfectly. I’ma 32C and I got a Small. It fits perfectly around my ribcage, but is a bit too tight around my chest.

On Material: Two thumps up! I love the material! Stretchy, but not TOO stretchy. It’s a comfortable material for a sports bra, it’s not soft, but it’s not harsh or itchy either; it’s that middle ground material. It’s also pretty light so you don’t feel like your boobs are suffocating in it.

On Support: 3 Thumbs up! Apparently grew a 3rd thumb…The bra is extremely supportive. As I mentioned, I have C boobs, which require support in high impact activities. This bra kept both the girls intact while running/jumping.

On HR Monitor Compatibility: 

  • Garmin: I easily clicked in the HR monitor sensor that connects to my Garmin watch. I patted a little water onto the sensors on the bra and the signal picked up on my watch right away! The Garmin paired perfectly and seamlessly with the adidas Seamless Bra.
  • Polar: I had a little more trouble with this one. I own the Polar FT4 watch/monitor. The monitor fit and clipped in easily to the bra, but I had some trouble getting it to pair with my watch. I tried a few times and I couldn’t get the signal to pick up. I emailed the Numetrex Customer service for help and they quickly responded and were very helpful. They also followed up a couple of times to make sure  I was able to get it to work. 4 Thumbs up to Customer Service! For some reason, the Polar monitor required a LOT more water to pick up the sensor. I had to really get the bra sensor wet for the HR monitor to pick up signal. After I got it paired, it worked as long as the sensors stayed wet – so you would need to pair the device RIGHT before you go to exercise so that the sweat will keep it going. This could also just be an issue specific to my Polar monitor, I don’t really know…
  • Adidas: The Adidas BlueTooth HR Monitor is meant to be sold with the bra, and it perfectly paired together. The Adidas HR monitor pairs with the miCoach app on your smart phone. The App is actually really cool – it offers you different workouts based on your heart rate during the workout and has charts/graph results. Here are some screenshots below to give you an idea:

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My only gripe with the Adidas HR Monitor, which probably wouldn’t be a big deal to most people, is that you need to have your phone on you to use the HR Monitor. I usually don’t bring my phone with me when I run, or spin. Also, the to us the app you need to be connected to BlueTooth, which has the potential to fall out of signal. Luckily the bluetooth signal did stay put for the entire hour when I used it during a class.

On Comfort: I’d give comfort an 9 out of 10 – during a work out it’s very comfortable and not intrusive or constrictive at all. You can barely even feel the HR Monitor that’s clipped into the sports bra. I have some sports bras that put a lot of pressure on my shoulders and the straps are super uncomfortable, but that is NOT this bra – the seamless design of the bra adds comfort all around, without compromising on support. The only reason I don’t give it a 10 is because ON ME it was a bit too snug around my armpits and chest.

Overall, I really love this bra and will buy another. I’m a huge fan of heart rate training and wearing a heart rate monitor also helps motivate me to work harder – I’m pushed by #’s. The only reason I don’t wear a HR monitor for every workout has simply been because the strap is super annoying/uncomfortable, but this bra completely solves for that issue. My honest opinion is if you want to use a heart rate monitor for fitness training, try out this bra.

If you have any questions, just ask!!

Question: Do you wear a Heart Rate Monitor for workouts??? Why/Why Not? 

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Alternative Healing

If at first you don’t succeed try try again – right?

After dealing with another bout of ITBS since August 2013 and trying everything from cortisone, to rest, to massage, to yelling at my IT band to get it’s shit together AND clearing an MRI – I decided it was time to seek alternative methods.

I reached out to Sports Massage Therapist, Danielle De Maio, who I had seen in the past (thanks to Dori’s recommendation). Danielle works with serious athlete’s everyday and has probably seen more hurt IT bands than I could count on my fingers and toes, so I figured she may have some insight. To be transparent, her initial recommendation was that I stop doing any activity (strength training, biking, running) for an extended period of time. Honestly, this is not and was not an option for me – I could live exercising in pain, I could not live without exercising. Exercise is my natural medicine – I’d have to replace exercise with sleep meds to go to sleep, caffeine to stay awake and probably some prozac during the winter months – overall, not worth it. Her second recommendation was that I go to see Mark Thompson, Sports Acupuncturist. You can read Mark’s bio here, but to give you the short version, he’s a PT turned Acupuncturist.

Slightly skeptical, but also hopeful and willing to try anything, I gave Mark’s office a call and scheduled an appointment. His staff was extremely friendly and helpful – they called my insurance to figure out what the cost to me would be and informed me that each appointment would last about 1.5 hours.

I’ve been to acupuncture a couple of times before, but my experience with Mark was completely different than anything I had experienced. Our session started with Mark asking me about my injury, how long it has lasted, what effects it, etc. Before he even placed a needle in me, he took time to check my hip alignment and thoroughly examine my feet and how I stand. I was impressed.

Next he had me lay down on the acupuncture table and kneaded around my IT band, knee, thigh and calves to see exactly where the tightness was stemming from. He also performed some simple strength tests to check my glute and hip strength.

                 The prognosis: The tightness in my thigh was strongly contributing to the ITB tightness; My ITB issue is NOT due to weak glutes/hips, or flexibility —  HALLELUJA!!! When he mentioned this, I knew right away I trusted him. I was getting extremely frustrated of people telling me ITBS was due to glute strength and flexibility without even testing me. I may not be a doctor, but I’m also not completely delusional – I know I may not be the strongest person in the world, but I am strong….and I can’t stretch at the gym without some strangter going “wow” and asking me about how I got so flexible. So yeah, when people tell me I need to stretch my ITB, I want to scratch their eyes out.

Essentially Mark said that I just had a very tricky IT band that needed some serious loosening, beyond the ability of  even the toughest foam roller. For my knee, however, he noted that I need to strengthen the inside of my knee and showed me some exercises I can do at home

…At this point I’m forgetting, was this a PT appointment, or acupuncture??

Oh right – so we’re talking about acupuncture here. After the thorough “inspection” and diagnosis came the needles. As I mentioned, I’ve been to acupuncture before and it was completely painless so I was all set for a nice little nap. Boy was I surprise — this type of acupuncture was not for those sensitive to pain. He placed a heat lamp over my leg and started by performing deep tissue style massage on the effected leg. Next he pinpointed trouble spots in my muscles and  took the acupuncture needles and started to slowly dig them into my leg, removing the needle right away. SHIT did that hurt. After about 20mins of this intense needle technique, he did the more standard acupuncture technique of placing the needle and letting it sit. Mark also hooked up an e-stim machine to one of the needles right around my knee at a very low setting.  He then left the room to let it sit for 20min. At this point, I actually did fall asleep. The room was so cozy and warm and I was laying in the most comfortable position on my side with comfy pillows between my legs and arms.

When Mark came back in the room, he removed the needles and started all over again. When it was all done he mentioned that I will be sore and should not exercise for 24hrs. When I stood up and tried to walk, I understood what he meant. I could barely hobble myself down the subway steps to make it home! The next morning I had some bruises and was still super sore, but could walk normally:

2014-02-21 18.47.23Skipping ahead to the part of this post you probably care most about – Did it work???

I went by to Mark 2 more times (each session lasted the full 1.5 hrs) and last weekend I successfully ran 3 miles out side with ZERO pain!!!! I’m not going to be overzealous and say “I’m healed,” but I’m on my way.

Would I recommend seeing Mark? DEFINITELY!!! He truly impressed me with his knowledge, thoroughness and his willingness to answer all of my questions thoughtfully. Did I mention he’s also a really friendly, laid back guy? Obviously acupuncture isn’t going to heal everything, but if you have an injury that requires some loosening up, you get the best of both a PT and acupuncturist with Mark Thompson.

QUESTIONS!??? Have you tried Acupuncture, or any type of alternative medicine to heal??

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Knowing Your Faults

Like in any part of life, we all have those things we do really well and those things we do really poorly. When I first committed to running, a little less than 3 years ago, I discovered right away that one of things I could do well was simply run. I didn’t run fast well and when I started I wasn’t running far, but I could get myself up and on the treadmill, or out the door everyday. I ran to run and I began to love it. I began to crave running. I’d spent years trying to get myself to enjoy exercise, so I chose to embrace the high.

My 9th week of running & training for my first half marathon, I reached 40 miles for the week. 40 F*ing miles!!! Seriously, I keep logs, I’m not making this up. I’ve since trained for 3 marathons, which I’ve had to back out of all of them for injury and have not broke much past 30mile weeks. I felt badass, but I also didn’t think much of it. I didn’t understand why anyone would even consider not going for a run when there legs and heart were begging them to RUN.

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4 Months after I began running, I ran head first into my greatest exercise fault. Funny enough, what I had previously considered my talent, turned into what was dually showing to cause my down fall: I didn’t know when to stop running. I didn’t feel pain, I didn’t feel fatigue, I didn’t consider running too much too fast and not letting my body rest and recovery. I also replaced what would previously had been strength training days with running days. The joy I got from running far exceeded the mundaneness of lifting weights. Quickly proceeding my first half marathon, my first injury started to poke it’s head. I continued to run more and my injury continued to scream in pain for me to stop. I Mr. Injury to SHUT UP and I ran. Unfortunately, Mr. Injury didn’t like being told to shut up and instead, shut me down. Since my first injury, I’ve endured a few more. It’s been a while since I’ve taken an english class, but I believe this is what would be considered in literature the “fatal flaw.”

You may be wondering why the heck I’m bringing all this up now and the answer is – it’s a reminder to myself and possibly anyone else reading who may be letting the antagonistic part of themselves win. I notice myself getting back into the same pattern lately -Work has been stressful and it’s getting cold out, which depresses the heck out of me. A good run always picks up my spirits and metaphorically dusts of any bricks that may have piled up on my back throughout the day. Monday I ran because, well, it was Monday. Tuesday I ran to get the kinks out of my body that had piled up from sitting at a desk in meetings all day. Wednesday I ran for stress, for the gorgeous sunset along the Hudson River and the beauty of seeing the sparkling lights of the city from the middle of the Brooklyn Bride. All good reasons in my mind, but not good reason enough to be running 3 days in a row and risking being stuck on my couch again.

So note to self, this week try running with your head a little more than your heart 🙂

QUESTION: What is your greatest exercise strength and fault?

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Well Hello Again!

If you read my blog, ever, you may have noticed it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. There’s no real reason for this – I didn’t make a decision that “today I’m going to stop blogging.” I simply have not been inspired to write. I guess you could say I’ve been feeling more private for the past half a year, but I’m ready to get back to telling the small percent of the internet world who actually reads my blog, what’s going on in my life. This is a fitness/running focused blog, but I’ll probably be expanding my posts into other random topics.

I think the best way to summarize the past half of a year is to tell you what I’ve learned in 6 months:

  • Getting older doesn’t suck.

I love cake :-)I love cake 🙂

  • Wedding planning does suck. If I wanted to be a wedding planner, I would have been. Unfortunately I have a lack of a color palette and no real eye for design. This could probably be best summarized by my co-workers who tease me about my outfits everyday.
  • I love cats…Ok maybe not really, but I love MY cat. Chickapea is the best.
Chickapea the snoozer...when she's not waking me up at 6am with toys in the bed

Chickapea the snoozer…when she’s not waking me up at 6am with toys in the bed

  • When you know, you know.
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When I met this man, I know I’d marry him. When I met this cat, I knew she was meant to complete our home…and when I tried on my wedding dress, I know it was the one.

  • Tribeca is AWESOME.
  • I will never be living NYC, excluding vacation and obligatory trips to see family
  • I would like to travel…always.
  • I’ve probably screamed this a thousand times, but CARBS are not the enemy and never have been. Eat GOOD food and ENJOY!

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  • Going from 7 miles being your longest run to 17 mile is not good for your body. Although, secretly I’m still proud of myself.
  • If you don’t do yoga for 6 months, it actually gets harder even if you’re naturally hyper flexible. I know, this is a shocking discovery.
  • I CAN lift heavy weights.
  • Jersey City is NOT far from NYC. On the contrary, it’s 10minutes door to door from my apartment. Crazy.
  • NO I don’t want to bike, I WANT to run and gosh darn I will!
  • My life wouldn’t be full-filled without my friends in my life

….and there you have it. Until next time!

QUESTIONS: What have you learned in the past 6 months?? Fill me in!!!

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‘If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon’

‘If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon’

If you haven’t read this article please do, and please allow yourself to cry:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/15/if-you-are-losing-faith-in-human-nature-go-out-and-watch-a-marathon/

Honestly as I started to read that article I got really sad expecting a somewhat unhappy and negative ending, but it took a different turn. The resilience, camaraderie and faith of the running community never ceases to inspire me. 

One of the best and worst parts of being a runner is being able to tap into the hearts and emotions of every runner out there. When we see fellow runners get injured, we feel their PAIN; when we see a runner cross a finish line, we feel their JOY… and when we witness tragic chaos amidst one of our treasured, coveted events,  we come together as a team, as a community, as a family.

My heart goes out to all the runners who ran the Boston Marathon Today, to all the runners who watched the joys and pitfalls and to every runner is the world who has a deep pain in their heart tonight. 

Together we fall, but together we rise.

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As a runner know : YOU ARE NEVER ALONE

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Spring Cleansing the Body: My Attempt at a Juice Cleanse

On Monday April 8th, 2 days before my 28th Birthday, I decided to attempt a 1-day Spring Juice Cleanse from Organic Avenue. I have never cleansed before and was terrified to try. I figured I could manage 1-day though, it seemed doable. My goal for the cleanse was purely to rid my body of toxin’s and feel refreshed. Here’s how it went….

I received my package of 6 juices & a booster shot the day before the cleanse to make sure I’d have them on time. Delivery was punctual and came in a nice package.

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My initial thought on seeing the juices – “Shit, this is ALL I am eating for a day!?”

My morning started at 8:45am with some hot water with lemon (to aid in digestion). Followed by a shot if E3:

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ENLIVENING E3
E3 Live, a wild-harvested, organic blue-green algae, is potent mix of 64 vitamins, minerals, and enz…

The shot was gross, but I downed it like a champ. I’d like to thank high school and vodka for my talent.

10:15am: I’m at work and on pleasantly enjoying my first drink of the day, Royal Red Seasonal Juice. It’s the dreaded (for me) juice of the pack. Beet juice generally makes me want to gauge, but this one is actually tasty! The fruit juices, lemon and ginger that are also in it cut the taste of the beets nicely. I know it’s ONLY the beginning of the day, but I feel oddly energized already! I’m not sure if it’s the bolt of vitamins from the juice, or just the simple mental knowledge that I’m doing something good and clean for my body.

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11:30am: My energy high is wearing off, starting to feel a little depleted. I got a class of water and feel a little better. Not really hungry still, the juice is filling me up so far.

11:50am: On to juice #2, Mellow Love. I’m not sure why the words “mellow,” or “love” are used in this one. After two sips, there’s a solid chance I won’t finish it. Not a fan. I think it may be a battle of hunger vs. the nasty green juice for the hour…

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1:20pm: Hunger won the bottle, I killed the nasty Mellow Love green juice. Take that juice! I’m now thinking of this day as a challenge and experiment vs. a healthy thing for my body. I’ve heard a lot of people say that on a cleanse they don’t feel hungry, but they just have the desire to chew. I feel the complete opposite. I’m hungry, but delusional enough where it’s not really bothering me. I could careless about chewing – inject french frie grease into my blood, give me a smoothie, I just want the bulk, the fat, the calories.

1:40pm: Not much time has passed since I finished juice #2 since it took me a while to get down. I’m hungry, though, so now onto juice #3, Truthful Turmeric Tonic. It’s drinkable. It tastes almost like a lemonade mixed with a Bloody Mary (no vodka, sad).

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2:25pm: I’m still hungry. Just thinking about the large cake with pink icing and sprinkles that I will be eating in two days on my Birthday 🙂

3:00pm: I’m staring lifelessly at the computer, I can’t concentrate. I could have a conversation with someone, but reading isn’t going down…

3:20pm: OK I’m really hungry, this is not feeling good now. I should have worked from home. I try juice #4, Caring Carrot Juice. Ok, I may die. The carrot juice isn’t AS bad as I was expecting, but not once part of me wants to drink it.

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3:24pm: Maybe if I stop trying to drink anything, the hunger will pass. Or I will pass out?

3:52pm: MY BODY NEEDS FOOD

4:10pm: I’m taking a break from Mr.Carrot Juice. Time to try juice #5, Green Love Green Juice. I stand over it saying to myself, “please be good, please be good,” before I open the bottle…Hope is 50% lost. It’s drinkable in that “I want to survive, I’ll drink anything” type of way. I just realized the only juice I enjoyed so far was the beet juice — weird.

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4:40pm: I may need to eat today. I’ve given up on the carrot juice, which puts me down to 800 calories for the day. That can’t be good right? Did Organic Quinoa ever kill anyone?….I just need to make it home, maybe I’ll feel better once I lay down.

5:25pm: Green Love juice done! I’m going home.

5:35pm: I’m on the train going home. I feel awful, my body is slowly losing life. I’m eating food tonight.

When I got home from work I tried juice #6, Creative Cashew Hemp Mylk, to see if it would provide me any satisfaction. It did not. I’ve heard the Milk’s are delicious, but I barely like this one. Giving up on the juice, I took a bath to try and revive some life into and maybe ward off hunger. It didn’t really work.

6:15pm: I’ve eaten a whopping total of 550 calories today! That’s it, I’m eating dinner. I’ll try my hardest to keep it “clean.”

….And by 7pm dinner was on! I didn’t go wild, I had some quinoa with black beans, red peppers, eggplant and shredded cheese (all organic, no GMO).

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Right after I ate dinner I passed out for about an hour from 7:30pm – 8:30m. It was like the food punched my body to sleep. When I woke up I was hungry so I followed dinner up with a small homemade pumpkin muffin w/a bit of peanut butter and a handfull of cereal. I followed that up with a small homemade pumpkin muffin w/a bit of peanut butter and a handfull of cereal.

I tried to go to bed at 10pm to let me body rest because despite breaking the cleanse, I still only ate about 1,000 -1,200 calories that day. I didn’t sleep a wink. I think eating made my body feel rejuvenated and like it was ready for a whole knew day. I felt wide awake.

The next morning I woke up unrested, but I felt normal/fine. My apetite had definitely gone down. It was a gorgeous day out so I went out for a run around 12noon (when it was 80 degrees out!) and my body just didn’t feel right. I was getting winded too quickly and started to feel nauseous as I ran. Things just felt really off, so I gave in at 3miles. When I came home I down coconut water and weighed myself. I had lost 2.8% of my body weight in 1 day! No wonder I felt sick trying to do cardio. I’m sure the lost weight was not “real weight” and likely water weight, although how do you lose water weight when all you’re doing is drinking fluid?? I wasn’t going into the cleanse looking to lose weight, though, I just wanted to cleanse my body of toxins and hopefully gave some energy. I’d consider that goal a fail haha

All day I was not hungry like I normally am. My body felt really off. The next day I was beginning to feel better, but had the same nauseous reaction when I tried to do any cardio, which lifted my heart rate.  My hunger still was not back as well, I was eating meals because I felt like I “should.”

Final Thoughts: I have NO IDEA how people cleanse for 3-5 days! I’ve heard from other’s that you don’t feel hungry, but I wasn’t that lucky and I honestly don’t understand how you could not be hungry! I’ve checked out other juice cleanses to compare caloric value and they all offer 900 – 1,100 calories, less than the recommended minimum intake for any adult for a day. I’ve also been told that if you are hungry, you are allowed to add in additional juices, but honestly, I just had no desire to drink another juice haha. I do understand how for some people, it could  make you feel rejuvenated and give you energy if you complete a full 3-days, but I did reep any of those benefits. Drinking only juice for 2/3rd’s of a day completely depleted my body and I felt the negative effect of lack of energy for the next 3 days. In retrospect, I know my body pretty well and I should have known it wouldn’t have reacted well to this experience. My body does not do well with calorie restriction. I feel like if it was a juice & smoothie plan with 1,300 -1,600 calories included in the daily value, I may have been alright. In summary, I will never do a cleanse again, it’s not for me. That being said, I’ve heard if you have more serious issues such as indigestion problems, I’ve heard cleanses are great….and as a disclaimer, none of my negative feelings towards the cleanse are associated or reflective of anything to do with Organic Avenue. Delivery and service were wonderful, the plan was just not right for me.

You can view the cleanse and all the juices I tried here.

QUESTIONS: Have you ever tried a juice cleanse? How did you feel during/after? If you have any additional questions on my experience just ask!

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Mind Over Matter

I feel like I’m constantly reminded how extremely mental running is for me and this week was no exception. Non-runners think I’m nuts when I say running is really more mental than physical; and honestly, if you had told me that during middle school gym class when I almost puked during a 1-mile run, I probably would have slapped you. Most runners will agree though that any distance, or time PR’s they have hit have came from something deeper than just their legs. There gets to a point where you just don’t care what your body feels like and that’s when your mind takes over. It’s when you’re mind says, “F*ck you body.”

A couple of weeks ago I made a commitment to myself to get my shit together and start training for the Nike Women’s D.C. Half Marathon on April 28th. I then obviously got sick for two weeks (classic), but still kept up my commitment as well and as safely as possible. I cut back, but I “got it done.” Running when you can’t breath out of your nose is a different physical challenge, but I consider it a strong mental one as well — putting on running clothes to go run in the cold when you’re body wants to stick it’s ass to the couch is TOUGH.

This week I was in Little Rock, Arkansas for the beginning of the week for work and again, I kept up my commitment. I got in 2 runs, even telling my coworker on the 2nd day of my new job that, “I’d love to go to dinner with her, but I’d need an hour to run first.” Commitment doesn’t come with social niceties and really, neither do I. I was tired and would have loved nothing more than to sit in my hotel room, or at a nice restaurant with a glass of wine, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I can tell you I did not regret one run.

The whole past couple of weeks have been a mental test to get my body moving, but  Friday’s long run is when mind over matter truly kicked in. I’d say moving, starting a new job and traveling all within one week puts just a tad of stress on a person; and since that person is anxiety ridden me, we can pretty much double it. By Friday I was worn out to say the least, but I wanted to get my 6 mile long run in before the weekend. The plan was to meet Megan at 8am on the Brooklyn Bridge no matter what. So no, I didn’t sleep a wink and yes it was freezing out, but there was no backing out. I drowsily got out of bed, grot dressed, had 1/2 a Clif bar and headed into the early morning air. My first steps, I seriously felt like I didn’t know how to run. My body was sore from Pilates Reformer the night before and the running motion felt foreign. I live right across from the Brooklyn Bridge so I was headed up the incline in no time. Let’s just say the uphill running didn’t feel great. I just kept telling myself to take it slow. Ever since I started running I’ve had a hard fast rule that I will NEVER stop on a hill; I will NEVER let the hill win. If the hill is that tough that I need to walk down it, that’s cool, but the uphill is not a question (needless to say I’ve never walked down a hill either). Once I got over the incline onto the bridge I started to realize how F*ING cold it was. The view was nice, but the lovely breeze was fierce.

Brooklyn Bridge Running Photo - Curtesy of http://runlikeagrl.com/

Brooklyn Bridge Running Photo – Curtesy of http://runlikeagrl.com/

I kept running until I met Megan on the downhill on the other side of the Bridge. We turned around and started running back towards Manhattan. I, probably not so kindly (sorry!), told Megan that I couldn’t talk to her until we were up the incline. My lungs hurt from the cold air and it was hard to breathe, let alone talk. After just little over a mile of running I felt wiped out. I was panting. Once we made it off the Brooklyn Bridge I started to feel a little better and we headed towards the West River.

My legs started to feel better, but the cold didn’t letup. I was well dressed in warm running clothes AND carrying hand warmers, but most of my body felt numb. Picking up the pace wasn’t even an option, the only feeling coming from my legs was a stinging cold sensation. Megan has asked me the night before how many miles I had wanted to run. My response was:

“6, but I’m shooting for 2. That’s how I avoid disappointment.”

…and I seriously meant that. Around mile 3 in the run I considered to myself, I could end the run soon, take a nice hot shower and get feeling in my numb body back….or I could hold out 3 more miles and get it done. I bargained with myself and I finished out the 6 miles. Company aside, I would not consider this a pleasant run. When it was done, though, I was 100% glad I got my run in and would have done it again.

Once I got back to my apartment, I just sat down on my floor because I didn’t see any other viable option. I was numb. My body literally felt like it was melting as the cold washed away. My legs, hands and stomach were all bright red. I turned on the news where the weatherman kindly informed me that it was 30 degrees, feels like 18. How the heck did I just run for an hour in “feels like 18!?!” was all I could think. That’s when it hit me in retrospect how it was completely mind over matter. At 7:45am I had made it out my door, outside in the cold. I reasoned that all I had to do was keep myself there and I did.

So what’s the morale of my story? I’m not quite sure… Running isn’t always easy, it’s not always fun, but I do always thank myself after I complete every run. Running obviously makes my lungs, my heart and my endurance physically stronger; but I would argue that running is also strengthening my mind.

QUESTION: What did you learn from your runs this week? How much of running do you feel is Mental vs. Physical for you?

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Commitment

I dedicated this past week to getting back on track. As you may have read in my last post, I have a big marathon (as opposed to a small one hhaha) coming up in 8 months. Before we hit the big one though, I have 2 more immediate races I’ve signed up for:

  1. Nike Women’s D.C Half – April 28th
  2. Brooklyn Half – May 18th

….and since this past week I haven’t had weekly running mileage above 0-3miles…. So yeah, with 10 weeks out to my first Half Marathon 0f 2013, I decide it was time to buckle down and get back into the game.

The cold, the wind and short daylight hours have made it hard for me to get back into running, but I realized the D.C Half isn’t going to run itself so I needed to put my excuses aside and just RUN. Since I’m injury prone (or maybe just really dumb about training), I do not aspire to run more than 3 days a week.

Monday morning I had planned to run 2-3 easy miles outside with Nicole, but the 20-35mph wind chills of 11 degrees ruined our plan. I was bummed  I didn’t want to start off my week of running with a failed run. Luckily Dori reminded me that the treadmill is always an option. I hate running on a treadmill, but I do have one in the basement of my building, so I decide to go for it. I set out with a goal of 2 easy miles — after all, no one ever died from 20min of treadmill bordem. I got to my building’s gym and both of the 2 treadmills were being used. I felt defeated at first, but didn’t give up. I sat on a yoga matt and occupied my time with twitter while I waited for a treadmill to open up (using the yoga matt to actually stretch would have been taking my motivation too far). Luckily one opened in 5-10min and I was off and running. I started slow at 5.2mph. Once I eased into thing I decided to add some sprints to make it more exciting. One thing lead to another, like it often does with my runs, and I ended up running 3miles…and I felt great! I was so proud of myself for actually getting my run in.

Then came Wednesday and I had planned to run again. Again, the cold weather/winds ruined my outdoor run plans. In the morning I decided to spin instead and chalked it up to being OK because there were plenty of days left in the week to get in 2 runs. When I got home from work Wednesday night, though, despite being exhausted and feeling run down I remembered that I had made a commitment to myself. I headed towards the treadmill. Luckily this time one was free. Again I had planned to only run 2 miles and again I made it to 3miles (this time with hills)…I see a pattern forming…

Finally Friday was a nice day! Finally Nicole and I had planned for a morning run and actually met up! I hadn’t slept well the night before, so I was EXHAUSTED when I rolled out of bed to meet Nicole, but I had made a commitment to myself, to Nicole and to running and I was going to keep it. Once I got outside and we started going I began to wake up and started to feel good. We ran 2 miles out on the East River and they felt like a breeze; but then we turned around and that’s when the breeze became a real breeze. The wind picked up and the run turned into a “I’m putting my hood up and focusing on getting this done,” kind of run. I had planned to run 4miles and ended with 4.5miles — you know, simply to continue my pattern of running more than planned. By the time I got home my whole body was basically numb, but I felt good and it was worth a little lose of feeling in my limbs. Thank goodness for running buddies, though, that run would not have been enjoyable alone.

Three things I learned this week:

  1. I love running
  2. I never regret a run
  3. The value of commitment

QUESTIONS: What did you learn this week? How do you keep up running in the winter? What are you committed to right now and how do you stick with it?

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Never Give Up

NYC Marathon 2012 was not meant to be for me, or in this case, anybody else.  My hopes of running it ended in October when I suffered my last injury of the year and quit possibly the worse, a stress fracture in my foot. Luckily I was running through Team For Kids so I had the option to defer my entry to 2013, but having had a turbulent year with running and two failed attempts at a marathon, I wasn’t really looking forward to the prospect. 2013 seemed too soon to try again.

The end of 2012 I was pretty annoyed thinking that I HAD to run the NYC Marathon in 2013 because I deferred my 2012 entry before NYRR’s set date of who would have the option to chose the year of their deferral. December 2012 I still wasn’t running and I had little to no desire to; I couldn’t contemplate a marathon in November, just 10 months later…

Then a miracle happened, NYRR sent notice in January 2013 that they would allow everyone who was registered for the 2012 NYCM to defer their entries to 2013, 2014, or 2015! I automatically thought my decision was set — 2014 OF COURSE!…

…but then indecision set in. As some of my friends announced their excitement for the 2013 NYCM, I began to rethink my set decision. Peer pressure set in. My friend and relentless workout buddy, Megan, was running the 2013 marathon for the first time and prodded me with how fun it would be to run together. I also remembered that I had declared that 2013 was going to be my year. I had wanted to run the NYCM for 2 years now, did I really want to delay it another year? Passion for running aside (because honestly I felt none at the time), part of me just wanted to get this shit over with already. I had personally resigned to run a marathon, so it eventually was/is going to happen; I know myself well enough to know I wouldn’t back out of that promise to myself. I thought about what I would say to someone else if they were to ask me what to do in the exact situation and without thinking I’d tell them to give it another shot, run 2013. So, on a somewhat thought out whim, I did it:

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 4.17.33 PM

 

I made my resolution.

Since the day I selected 2013 I’ve gone back in forth in my head thinking I’m completely bat shit crazy, nuts, why would I not just give myself more time?

I hit that button on January 25th and it’s taken me almost a month to realize why the heck I actually did it. Then yesterday I saw a sign posted on instagram. It was an inspirational poster consisting of a few sayings, but three words suddenly hit me. Sure peer pressure played a part in my decision and my motivation to be done with the whole marathon thing helped, but the real reason was based on three simple words:

Never Give Up.

I haven’t in the past, so why start now…

See you at the finish line!

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2013 Resolution

I’m off to Jamaica tomorrow morning and won’t be back in my beloved NYC until 2013. I’m honestly so excited to get away that I likely will not sleep and I may piss myself on the cab ride to the airport. I’m going on vacation to clear away the awfulness (best word to explain it) of 2012 and ring in the New Year where the phrase “no problem man” is the answer to all life’s questions. Next year is going to be a good year and my 2013 New Year Resolution is quite simple. In 2013 I resolve to…

Screen Shot 2012-12-27 at 8.49.30 PM

Enough said.

QUESTION: What’s your Resolution?

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